India Arie Skin Lightening Rumors: 5 Celebs Accused Of Skin Bleaching [PHOTOS]

By iScienceTimes Staff on April 1, 2013 10:12 AM EDT

The India Arie skin lightening controversy comes courtesy of the cover for her new single "cocoa Butter." In the photo for the single, India Arie's skin appears multiple shades lighter than in photos taken from live shows or in older promotional images, launching a wave of rumors that the R&B queen had her skin tone deliberately lightened for the image. India Arie took to Twitter to defend herself, calling any suggestions that she wanted to appear lighter skinned for the photo laughable at best.

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"Personally speaking! i'm happy to say I have NOT BLEACHED my skin LOL! ROTF at the thought," she tweeted. "1. I wouldn't endanger my health that way 2. i'm so in love with myself I have no DESIRE to BLEACH myself. 3. The GLOW you see IS (magnificent) lighting 4. THE LIGHT you see, Well thats all ME!!"

It does seem a bit ridiculous to accuse India Arie of skin lightening given her penchant for promoting soul-centric beauty with songs like "Brown Skin" and "I Am Not My Hair." On top of that, India Arie recently spoke out against the skin darkening makeup being used on Zoe Saldana on the set of the Nina Simone biopic.

"Yes there should be a movie made, and YES they should have chosen someone who LOOKS like Nina Simone, ESPECIALLY since her RACE played such a PIVOTAL role in WHO, WHAT and WHY, she was," she wrote on her website.

But India Arie is not the only celeb accused of skin lightening in recent years. Here's a look at five other celebs who found themselves inside a skin lightening controversy.

#5 Trina McGee

Trina McGee (Photo: Twitter)
Trina McGee (Photo: Twitter)

The former "Boy Meets world" star is looking a lot different these days but denies any and all plastic surgery and skin lightening rumors. McGee has defended herself on Twitter saying that rumors are just rumors. But compare the above pic with this pic of McGee on the show and judge for yourself.

#4 - Beyoncé

Beyonce has been accused of skin lightening several times in her career. (Photo: Creative Commons)
Beyoncé has been accused of skin lightening several times in her career. (Photo: Creative Commons)

 
Last year, Mrs. Jay-Z and Superbowl Halftime phenom Beyoncé was accused of skin lightening after promotional pictures on her website showed her with bleached blond hair and very light complexion. She also was the topic of skin lightening conversation in 2008 when a L'oreal ad featuring the pop queen sparked rumors she was using some sort of skin-bleaching cream. Beyonce denied the allegations.

#3 - Sammy Sosa

Sammy Sosa looks a lot different these days, but he admits to using skin bleaching products. (Photo: Imgur)
Sammy Sosa looks a lot different these days, but he admits to using skin bleaching products. (Photo: Imgur)

Slugger Sammy sosa looks a lot lighter in the pic on the right than he does in the pic on the left. And for good reason. The former baseball great admitted in 2009 that he uses a skin bleaching cream, but insists he does it for moisturizing reasons not because he hates his race.

"It's a bleaching cream that I apply before going to bed and whitens my skin some," said Sosa during the "Primer Impacto" program at the Univision Spanish network. "It's a cream that I have, that I use to soften [my skin], but has bleached me some. I'm not a racist, I live my life happily."

#2 - Rihanna

Rihanna has made some poor decisions in the past, is skin bleaching one of them? (Photo: Creative Commons)
Rihanna has made some poor decisions in the past, is skin bleaching one of them? (Photo: Creative Commons)

Rihanna found herself in a skin lightening controversy after the premiere of her movie "Battleship." The Daily Mail called her out for bleaching her skin when she was making promotional appearances for the movie in London in 2012.

"The singer's complexion appeared to be several shades lighter than usual as she enjoyed the sunshine in London while promoting her new film," wrote the Daily Mail. "Her mop of blonde hair only served to exaggerate the effect, which has drawn comparisons with the controversy Beyoncé faced over a 2008 advertising campaign for L'Oreal."

#1 - Michael Jackson

The King of Pop was also the King of Skin Bleaching Creams. (Photo: Creative Commons)
The King of Pop was also the King of Skin Bleaching Creams. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Perhaps no case of celebrity skin bleaching is more famous than that of Michael Jackson. The King of Pop was known for his eccentric personality and bizarre quirks and among them was a desire to have a lighter skin tone. He told Oprah in a 1993 interview he suffered from a skin-lightening condition  known as vitiligo. After his death in 2010, authorities discovered dozens of tubes of skin lightening cream used in the treatment of vitiligo in the singer's home.

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